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Framing Peace

Thinking about and Enacting Curriculum as «Radical Hope»


Edited By Hans Smits and Rahat Naqvi

The language of frames suggests the need to rethink self and other in fostering ethical relationships as a foundation for peaceful existence. Educational writers and practitioners from many parts of the world, including New York, Denver, Minneapolis, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Israel, and Canada offer their perspectives on peace as an aim of curriculum.
Possibilities for learning about peace conceived in terms of Jonathan Lear’s (2006) notion of «radical hope» are illustrated in the contexts of diverse settings and challenges: the aftermath of apartheid in South Africa, re-imagining post-colonial history curricula in Zimbabwe, exploring the meanings of truth and reconciliation and restorative justice in Canada, examining the quality of pedagogic relationships in elementary school classrooms, attending to experiences of gay and lesbian students in schools, experiences of marginalized students, children’s experiences of civic engagement, Islamophobia in high schools and teacher education classes, fraught relationships between Palestinian and Jewish students in a teachers’ college in Israel, and the inclusion of First Nations culture and knowledge in Canadian teacher education classes. As whole and in each of its parts, Framing Peace encourages us to think about peace as an urgent and fundamental responsibility of curriculum at all levels of education.


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Case Study: Exploring Humanitarian Law:Perspectives from Educators and Youth in Atlantic Canada


Case Study Exploring Humanitarian Law: Perspectives from Educators and Youth in Atlantic Canada catherine baillie abidi I want to live in a world where … I can be who I am without fear of violence or retaliation; Love, joy, peace, and happiness are appreciated; People are forced to think; People are open to others’ thoughts and beliefs; Violence is never the answer; People work together … are equal … have fun … hold hands … are happy.1 These are the voices of youth from Atlantic Canada who participated in a four- day global issues symposium organized by the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, the Canadian Red Cross, GPI Atlantic,2 and UNICEF Canada to explore issues of war and peace. The youth, ages 15 to 18, were invited to think about the world they would like to live in and to share this vision with their peers. No one envisioned violence. No one envisioned hatred. No one envisioned seclu- sion. Instead, the youth created their own vision of peace and then supported each other to develop action plans to build a culture of peace. As educators, we often try to create environments that encourage hope, inspiration, and active citizenship, but are we complicit in reigning in the dreams of youth to fit our adult frames of what is possible? Lear (2006) 136 | catherine baillie abidi encourages us to consider radical hope, or new ways of imagining possibilities for social change. Given the increasing impact of armed conflict, we need new and imaginative approaches to transform...

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